Another year. Another war. Rising prices. Political division. As this year ends, let’s talk about something far more uplifting. Let’s talk about my little sister, Lynne, and the moment she found peace when she least expected it.
Many of you don’t know Lynne. She’s pretty. A natural blonde, she has green eyes and a big smile. She loves to laugh and voice her opinions—loudly. She finds humor everywhere, even at her expense.
More than two decades ago, however, her spirit was troubled. She’d learned she had cancer in a very private area that would make some people blush when they’d ask what type she had.
Of course, I knew about the cancer. My older sister and I would howl like lunatics when Lynne described her technique for keeping the diseased area dry per doctor’s orders. But I was ignorant of her internal strife … and more specifically of an incident that would ultimately change her life.
Pee-shame on me if she’d shared this experience and I hadn’t been listening. Now knowing fully, I can only say her encounter was beautiful. Divine. Worthy of telling you.
She found peace when she least expected it, and the experience forever transformed her attitudes about life, death, and fear.
God Has a Sense of Humor
Lynne is not a “religious” person. Call her faithful. She’s also not the type to pray for herself. But on her way to the grocery store within hours of getting the diagnosis, she had done just that.
“God, you know I’m not much on praying for myself,” Lynne remembers saying, “and you already know what I need …”
She didn’t get a chance to finish her petition. Her eyes were drawn to a long line of cars.
“Here comes this funeral procession!” She tells me on the phone, roaring in her inimitable style. “When I saw that, I started to laugh … I laughed so hard … that’s the fastest answer I ever got.”
A Bubbling Brew of Worry
Behind the joviality, though, hid a very scared mom. “I didn’t know the stage,” Lynne says. “I didn’t know anything.” She worried that her husband—whom she’s since divorced—would buckle under the weight of raising two kids alone if she died.
Those anxieties consumed her. A day later during another road trip—this time with her husband and two kids—she remembers staring out the passenger-side window. She glanced at him, and then at the boys in the back seat.
“I don’t care about me,” she remembers thinking. “But what about my kids?”
That’s when she found peace when she least expected it.
As the scenery rolled past, her attention was drawn to a large, majestic tree standing alone in the middle of a field.
“And all of a sudden, a peace came over me,” Lynne says. “I’d never experienced anything like it. Every cell in my body. Ahh, that peace. It was a gift from God, and it made me cry … it was so lovely. If that’s what death is, I’m all right with it.”
Whether she died today, tomorrow or 50 years in the future, she realized she shouldn’t fear. Everything really would be okay.
Fast Forward to Today
“When I thought I’d lose my life, God showed me. Don’t sweat it,” Lynne tells me. “I feel so blessed. I wouldn’t have experienced it if I hadn’t had cancer.”
Does she worry today?
Of course, she says.
But fear of dying, getting sick, or anything else that immobilizes many people these days plays no role in how she lives. “I wish everyone could experience that peace,” she continues. “It changed my life. We really have nothing to fear. God is there. But you must have faith that everything will be okay.”
Wishing all of you Lynne’s peace … something she found when she least expected it.